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George Powell Osmond- 1854-1932 London

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Re: George Powell Osmond- 1854-1932 London

Postby carobradford » Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:00 am

"it was not a legal requirement until the 1870s"

I have to take issue with this oft-repeated canard. The 1836 Act is unambiguous in its intent: under the new system of civil registration *all* births were to be registered. The 1874 Act did not - as is often asserted - turn optional registration into compulsory registration. It was deemed necessary because the original legislation put the onus on the registrar who was "required to inform himself carefully of every Birth". So from 1875 onwards it was up to parents to seek out the registrar, not the other way around. The jury is still out on whether the percentage of births registered under the new system was higher than that under the old - there is some evidence that it was, in fact, lower.

At least anecdotally, it is clearly the case that registration of "irregular" births was either avoided or obfuscated both before and after 1875.

I think the problem that cosmond88 is having is due to assumption that the father's name on George's marriage certificate is the one piece of hard evidence that exists. Fake fathers on marriage certificates are by no means unusual, as are mistakes.
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Re: George Powell Osmond- 1854-1932 London

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Dec 08, 2016 11:41 am

carobradford wrote:... I have to take issue with this oft-repeated canard. The 1836 Act is unambiguous in its intent: under the new system of civil registration *all* births were to be registered. ...

You beat me to it. Registration of births was always compulsory - it's just that the compulsion was on the registrar from 1837 to 1874 before changing, sensibly I believe, to the parents.

The problem with the "not compulsory" canard isn't just one of mere pedantry about where the compulsion lay. It leads to statements like I saw once, on some message board, that "you'll be lucky to find a birth registration before 1875". Total nonsense. It also leads people to give up the search, assuming that the child wasn't registered when the child was registered but the name was spelt differently, or the child was registered elsewhere, or the child's surname is actually different in later life, etc, etc.

Equally, let's not throw the baby, registered or not, out with the bathwater. There were children whose births weren't registered. My rellies in Nantwich seem to be pretty thoroughly registered - Nantwich had its own registrar. My rellies in the village of Haslington also seem to be pretty thoroughly registered but those in Alsager have a poor hit rate in the 1830s and 1840s. I suspect that the point is that while both are villages, Haslington was a tight group of houses where the registrar could talk to people and find out what was going on. Alsager, at that time, was a scattered settlement where there was every chance that people wouldn't know anyone further than a field or two away. And it was right at the edge of the registrar's range. Those are the only differences I can see.
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Re: George Powell Osmond- 1854-1932 London

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:23 pm

Trying to throw a few ideas in, some of them not necessarily all that helpful...
1. Have you checked alternative spellings like "Osman"?

2. (Mentioned earlier) He may have been registered George Powell and only acquired the Osmond in later life. Which would then suggest that he was illegitimate with a (real or step?) father's surname of Osmond.

3. Fake fathers... Yes. It happens - "deceased" is remarkably convenient. On the other hand, if you were inventing someone, why conjure up an innkeeper if you yourself are in the boot & shoe trade? Surely the obvious fake would be a boot maker, etc?

4. Mistakes - again, it happens. The very fact that you have 2 Georges and a big problem suggests it might be a case of erroneous double entry of a name.

I wish I could concoct a magic bullet - but I can't! :(
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Re: George Powell Osmond- 1854-1932 London

Postby cosmond88 » Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:36 pm

ksouthall wrote:Unfortunately, this is not the case. It is possible that his birth was not registered as it was not a legal requirement until the 1870s. His family may have had him baptised and believed this to be enough. Have you tried searching for a baptism in church records, including nonconformist registers?


Ahh I feared as much. I have searched the baptism records that are available on Ancestry. They seem to have a lot of London records so if he was indeed born in London as the census states I would hope it would be on there but obviously I recognise their records aren't exhaustive.

He's such a mystery figure to me. I can't imagine finding out more about him after trying all these years of trying!
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Re: George Powell Osmond- 1854-1932 London

Postby ksouthall » Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:58 am

Sorry for my misuse of words, i.e. legal requirement. However, as there were no penalties for non-registration of a life event, some births were not registered during the early days of civil registration although the percentage of unregistered births is not known. More births were registered after penalties were brought in and there were some cases where the birth date was fudged to come within the 6 weeks of birth registration period. Proving this is not easy though as other records would be required; e.g. a baptism record.
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George Powell Osmond- 1854-1932 London

Postby Mick Loney » Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:53 am

Just to repeat my warning about father's names on marriage certificates. My own grandmother's father was incorrectly shown on her marriage certificate (she wasn't illegitimate)! So don't take it as gospel that correct father is always shown on the certificate, especially if you suspect illegitimacy.


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Re: George Powell Osmond- 1854-1932 London

Postby ianbee » Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:14 am

On the later census returns George says that he was born in Soho.
So this chap might be a possibility in St Pancras in the 1861 census -
George Powell, foster child, age 6
with Marion Osmond
(Powell transcribed as Cowell on ancestry, and Osmond as Edmond on findmypast!)

piece 96 folio 84 page 5
Pancras
(2) Edward St. Regents Park
Marion Osmond Head W 35 Laundress, born Hants Minsted (New) Forest
Frances Osmond Daur 10 Scholar Limehouse
Harriett Osmond Daur 7 Scholar London City
George Powell Foster child 6 Scholar Dean St. Soho Sqre.

Funnily enough there is a George Powell and family at the same address, previous schedule.
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Re: George Powell Osmond- 1854-1932 London

Postby ianbee » Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:04 pm

cosmond88 wrote:I'm currently waiting for a birth certificate for a George Powell born in 1854 with the very small hope that the fathers name would be listed as George Osmond. In most cases like this I've found that the fathers name hasn't been recorded.

If that is your George in 1861, and if he was born in (Dean Street) Soho, then the likely registration district is Strand
If you are looking into the possibility of illegitimacy, as suggested by Mick, there is this birth
Dec 1854 Strand 1b 346
Powell, George
mother's maiden surname —
No maiden name of the mother given on the new GRO birth index. Which usually denotes an illegitimate birth.
If the father had been named on the certificate it would probably have been indexed by the GRO twice, under both names.
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Re: George Powell Osmond- 1854-1932 London

Postby Denny_the_Wench » Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:10 pm

Interesting reading - but please don't assume that what is on the certificates is actually correct... even "official docs" can be misleading! So sometimes it is worthwhile going through other (FREE) sources before paying for the certs. I'd certainly go down studying the route of illegitimacy and take a holiday (if you can) in the area where PR's are held to go and look at the actual records - not relying on transcriptions on Ancestry

For example
My husband g-grandmother Lucy had 3 partners and 9 children, She only married 2 of them...
Maiden name Newport
First marriage to Whittaker
First child Maggie (Gmother) bapt Whittaker no father listed was born 3 months before the census where she is listed with "husband" #2 as Whittaker apparently died 2 years before this and therefore could not be the father.
Maggie at marriage listed father as Benjamin Whittaker but he was actually Benjamin Wormald and was Lucy's partner having at least 3 sons to him who were bapt Wormald Whittaker but they never married because on her final marriage to James Horsman she is still listed as Whitaker not Wormald or Wormald Whittaker!
In this case it is only piecing together the other families from census and Poll books which has enabled me to (almost) sort out the correct connections!
as hubby says she must have been quite a gal!
Good luck with your search
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